Strawberries in Charts: Prices looking up for next six months

August 13 , 2019

In this installment of the ‘In Charts' series, Colin Fain of Agronometrics illustrates how the U.S. market is evolving. Each week the series looks at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.

The role of militaries in the world is a contentious topic at best. However, there is no denying that their existence has brought about many changes that have come to define modern society as we know it. One of these changes is the creation of the strawberry.

A French military engineer Amédée-François Frézier is responsible for the fruit's development. He returned to France from Chile in 1714 with five specimens of an obscure berry called Fragaria chiloensis. When he crossed this berry from the coastal regions of Chile with North America's smaller Fragaria virginiana, what most of us know as a strawberry was born.

Today strawberries are the most commercialized berry in the U.S. They outpace blueberries by more than four to one, and both blackberries and raspberries by more than ten to one. Strawberries are also a seasonal fruit, with volumes hitting their peaks from May to June. On the other hand, their period of lowest supply takes place from November to December.


Historical U.S. market strawberry volumes

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]


As strawberry volumes start dropping off, prices begin to climb. As a result, the second semester of the year tends to see a dramatic increase in pricing. In fact, June and July's low prices typically double to make the figures seen in November.


Historical U.S. market shipping point prices by year

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]


Considering the high prices we have seen in the last four years, June and July are already looking up. August got off to a rocky start, but the prices last week have already jumped up considerably from the previous week. California's strawberry supply still looms large on the market and their volumes will play an important role in how prices continue to develop. 


Historical U.S. market shipping point prices by origin

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]


In our ‘In Charts’ series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.

You can keep track of the markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that professionals need to access to make informed decisions. If you found the information and the charts from this article useful, feel free to visit us at www.agronometrics.com where you can easily access these same graphs, or explore the other 20 fruits we currently track.

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